Solutions sought to help the electronic publishing market make a breakthrough
Electronic publishing is a trend in the world and has brought a significant source of revenue to the publishing industry. In Vietnam, e-publishing is considered to have a lot of potential and room for development, however, this market has not made a breakthrough, and development is not commensurate with its potential.
Lots of room for development
The electronic publishing market has recently grown and developed with more diverse product types. If in 2015 there were only about 1,163 electronic publications deposited, by 2022, this number has been more than 2,300 publications.
In 2018, only two publishers participated in the electronic publishing market, now there are 19/57 publishers publishing books on digital platforms, and 13 enterprises participating in e-publishing, with a wide range of products.
According to the Department of Publishing, Printing and Distributing under the Ministry of Information and Communications, in 2022, the number of e-publications was estimated to reach 3,200, with 15 million users (equivalent to 32-35 million copies of books read), an increase of 59% compared to 2021.
Shortly, e-publishing will be the basic mode of publishing in the world. The countries with a modern developed publishing industry are the leading countries in the field of digital publishing and electronic publishing such as the UK, the US, France, and Germany.
In Vietnam, digital content publishing is currently the most potential field due to many favourable factors.
As of September 2022, the percentage of people using the internet reached 73.2% of the population, ranking 12th in terms of internet users globally.
The habit of consuming digital content has been gradually forming, especially among young readers. The behaviour of reading, watching and listening of young people, is also having a strong shift to the digital environment, on digital platforms.
In addition, the State has issued many documents, creating legal conditions and a technological environment for the development of electronic publishing activities and e-book business on the internet environment.
This is reflected in the Law on Publication 2012 and related legal documents, and regulations on e-publishing.
Specifically, the Law on Publishing in 2012 has devoted a chapter with 8 articles and clauses, on electronic publishing to create a legal corridor for this field to develop.
With many potentials and favourable conditions, Vietnam's electronic publishing market currently only occupies a relatively modest market share, so there is still plenty of room for development. This is both a challenge but also an opportunity for publishers to innovate business models and products that serve the public.
There are many hurdles to overcome
The electronic publishing market has not made a breakthrough and has not kept up with the development of technology. Publishers are also not interested in investing and developing digital products, still traditionally reaching users.
On the other hand, the development of e-books is still facing difficulties due to barriers of publishers' technological background, shortage of human resources, complicated piracy, and several policy limitations.
The form of electronic publishing is mainly just digitizing published books, there are not many new forms such as ebooks, audiobooks, VRbooks (virtual reality books), or interactive books between readers, authors and publishers.
Faced with this fact, for the electronic publication market to break through, the publishing industry has no choice but to be more seriously aware of digital transformation, clearly identifying digital transformation, as not an option, but in existence.
Since then, instead of hesitating in choosing the direction of investment and developing new products with the combination of digital technology, publishers need to make efforts to transform themselves and find technology solutions that meet the requirements for data security, enhanced experience and convenience for readers. At the same time, it is necessary to have a new approach, targeting young readers.
Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Thanh Lam said that the habits of young readers are changing, so it is necessary to better assess the current reading needs and reach young readers.
In a seminar on the publishing industry, he also proposed some solutions related to linking the industry's products with the habits and transformation of payment habits of the young generation.
Instead of the traditional approach to users, publishers need to overcome payment barriers and connect the industry's digital products, with the banking ecosystem and telecommunications ecosystem, to reach more customers.
The growth of the electronic publishing market has partly shown that digital transformation has been and is an inevitable direction of the publishing industry today. Therefore, electronic publishing is also identified as a key task of the publishing industry in 2023. Of course, this is an issue for both publishers and managers.
Accordingly, it is necessary to improve the legal system to soon increase the number of units allowed to publish e-books; perfect a shared electronic publishing platform, a platform connecting publishers, improve the effectiveness and efficiency of publishing management; as well as have a national strategy on publishing e-books (which are technology-based books such as ebooks, audiobooks, VRbooks).
At the same time, more solutions should be devised in the management and protection of copyright; vigorously and thoroughly eliminating acts of illegally sharing ebooks, and audiobooks on the Internet, YouTube, and social networks.